Theya Culpa

When I read Max Blumenthal’s smear piece on James O’Keefe yesterday, something about it didn’t pass the stink test.  Part of it is that it was, well, written by Max Blumenthal, son of Sid “Dirty Liar” Blumenthal, who is one of the Dems’ big smear merchants.  Part of it, as I noted yesterday, is that a lot of the piece looked like assumptions based on assumed guilt by association.

I was, od course, right.  David Weigel writes for the Washington “Independent”, a site that’s under the same “Center for Independent Media” umbrella as the Minnesoros “Independent”.  But while Weigel is a pretty committed lefty, he’s also a reporter with enough integrity that I usually pay attention when he writes.

And he’s un-thrilled by some things in Blumenthal’s piece, and the blog post that led to it.

Read the whole thing – which takes down, point by point, pretty much everything in the Blumenthal piece, from the left. on a pure fact-checking basis.  The guilt-by-association that Blumenthal laboriously-yet-lazily declared, based on second-hand sourcing that putatively traced back to Weigel, would seem to be largely debunked.

One of many samples:

In my original post, I wrote that “O’Keefe’s position at the Leadership Institute gave him some ownership of the event, but in general the crowd consisted of conservatives and libertarians who wanted to see some controversy.” What I meant was that unlike the reporters in the room or the college students watching the spectacle, O’Keefe was Epstein’s co-worker. He didn’t wander in off the street — he knew his colleague was planning an event, knew it was so controversial it was moved out of the building, and he tagged along. But to some readers, that sentence suggested that O’Keefe was, indeed, a planner of the event. He absolutely wasn’t.

There’s some sloppy reporting on the left:

I’m really not used to being part of a story like this. In one week, James O’Keefe — who I’ve been writing about for months — has been linked to an organization that gave me a fellowship (the Collegiate Network) and an event I happened to be at in 2006. So I apologize for giving the impression that I confirmed all the details of the OPP and Salon stories, and I’m glad that The Village Voice has clarified its own reporting using my research.

Which isn’t to say that Weigel’s not going to close ranks with the rest of his crowd…:

As for my original point that there’s a conservative subculture that indulges in extremist politics with the expectation that no one will find out and care — well, I stand by that, and I think this episode has gone some way toward changing that.

…because he’s right; in and among the ranks of conservatives, there are some nutcases.  It’s in my interest as a mainstream center-rigtht conservative to note that it’s a vanishingly tiny minority (which is the truth, although it never quite vanishes; they get slavish drive-by coverage whenever there’s a Tea Party, for example); it’s in the left’s to create the impression that it’s the majority.

Which is why Blumenthal wrote the piece, omitting all exculpatory context and torturing Weigel’s statements out of all resemblence to reality to begin with.

17 thoughts on “Theya Culpa

  1. Mitch wrote”because he’s right; in and among the ranks of conservatives, there are some nutcases. It’s in my interest as a mainstream center-rigtht conservative to note that it’s a vanishingly tiny minority (which is the truth, although it never quite vanishes; they get slavish drive-by coverage whenever there’s a Tea Party, for example); it’s in the left’s to create the impression that it’s the majority.”

    In that supposed minority of nutcases would you include 2nd District Minnesota Congressman Kline, who was one of the signers of the resolution praising O’Keefe for “exemplary” actions as “young journalists” faking footage and passing it off as real? Or, how about Bachmann’s interactions with O’Keefe?

    I still have yet to hear an adequate – heck, an even remotely plausible explanation, to what these guys were doing at the main phone equipment area of the building if their purpose was to observe phone call activity in Landrieu’s office. They cannot monitor if or how those calls are being addressed by Landrieu’s office staff, from that location; they can however hugely interfere with phone service. Until that question is answered fully, I do not find what O’Keefe has to say in his defense very convincing. It is not reasonable.

  2. Btw – if you haven’t done so already, you may find it informative to read the charges outlined by the government when the four gentlemen were charged, as an independent source of information.

  3. Dog Gone, you keep talking about O’Keefe’s “fake footage”, yet you never give any specifics.
    O’Keefe has never been convicted of any crime.
    You use guilt-by-association in an attempt to tar this Kline fellow with O’Keefe’s imaginary crimes.

    Shabby.

  4. Dog Gone, you keep talking about O’Keefe’s “fake footage”, yet you never give any specifics.

    Because there are none. The lefties are crowing that O’Keefe edited the footage and that the editing created a misleading impression of the interviews.

    Sort of like CBS and ABC did with Sarah Palin.

    Of course, CBS and ABC both flatly refuse to release the raw, unedited footage of the interviews with Palin. Not sure if O’Keefe has or not, although I suspect nobody’s asked because nobody wants to see it; getting the truth out there is the last thing ACORN wants.

    Remember – if ACORN wanted to fight O’Keefe’s reports with anything other than innuendo delivered by surrogates, they wouldn’t have fired all of the people O’Keefe stung, an action that tends to read like “admission of guilt”.

  5. you may find it informative to read the charges

    For purposes of debunking Blumenthal’s smear piece, it’s not in the least informative, since Blumenthal is writing about events that happened (or sorta happened) long before O’Keefe got into the “eating lefties lunch” business.

    Ironic, though. Blumenthal writes the smear to prejudice the criminal allegations against O’Keefe. Blumenthal’s piece gets tanked, so other surrogates (DG) bring up the criminal allegations to try to lend credibility to Blumenthal. Circular illogic.

    By the way, reading the chargers might be interesting, but bear in mind that the charges are purely the prosecution’s allegations. Prosecutors aren’t known for showing the exculpatory bits when they write charges.

  6. Hmm. Did O’Keefe “fake” ACORN firing the people who were more than happy to give advise to a pimp and a prostitute who wanted to set up a whorehouse using illegal alien minors?
    Why no, no he didn’t.

  7. Here’s a photo of organizers and speakers at the “White Power” event that O’Keefe is double-plus-ungood for attending:

    http://bigjournalism.com/fross/2010/02/05/the-wheels-come-off-for-salon-and-blumenthal-as-weigel-issues-clarification-of-okeefe-event/#more-18690

    So we got one half-Jewish, half-Korean guy, another fellow who doesn’t fit the Aryan stereotype, and John Derbyshire, who is, I believe, married to a Chinese woman and who is the father of two multi-racial children.

    I guess White Power ain’t what it used to be.

  8. Terry wrote”Terry Says:

    February 5th, 2010 at 2:31 pm
    Dog Gone, you keep talking about O’Keefe’s “fake footage”, yet you never give any specifics.
    O’Keefe has never been convicted of any crime.
    You use guilt-by-association in an attempt to tar this Kline fellow with O’Keefe’s imaginary crimes.
    Shabby.”

    No one seems to be willing to address why going to the main phone circuits of the federal building where Landrieu has her office was part of observing how her office handles phone calls.

    Terry, do your own homework on the faked footage of O’Keefe dressed as a pimp. There are current legal actions relating to the ACORN footage.

    Kline signed on to a resolution praising O’Keefe’s actions which inlcuded cutting fake footage into the ACORN recording to make it appear he was in their offices posing as a pimp in his silly costume, when he was not. Apparently O’Keefe does not dispute that he faked the footage to mislead viewers of it.

    I don’t think faked footage should be receiving congressional praise – do you? It has nothing whatsoever to do with guilt by association, it has to do entirely with approving or disapproving of what Kline, himself, did in this regard.

    Kermit wrote “Did O’Keefe “fake” ACORN firing the people who were more than happy to give advise to a pimp and a prostitute who wanted to set up a whorehouse using illegal alien minors?
    Why no, no he didn’t.”

    Actually what they did or did not say is unclear – actually LESS clear – because of how the footage was edited, and how what was fake was inserted. Releasing the full footage and uncut footage is the only thing that will clear that up.

    You seem obsessed with a polarizing view of this – that people have to be on one side or another – pro-ACORN or pro-O’Keefe. There is the third option here, Kermit, Terry – disapprove of BOTH, to the extent that they are shown to have done something EITHER illegal or unethical.

    I don’t like either ACORN OR O’Keefe at the moment, and I disapprove of inappropriate recognition and encouragement for bad behavior, and I would like to see openeness and accountability required from of all of them instead.

  9. I haven’t said anything in praise of O’Keefe, Dog Gone.
    I’m still curious about what you call ‘faked footage’. You won’t say exactly what this ‘faked footage’ is, yet you insist that it has received ‘congressional praise’ — because of Kline, apparently.
    “Current legal actions’? What are you talking about? You must be able to find a link. I can’t:

    Your search – “acorn footage” “current legal actions” – did not match any documents.

    Suggestions:

    * Make sure all words are spelled correctly.
    * Try different keywords.
    * Try more general keywords.
    * Try fewer keywords.

  10. No one seems to be willing to address why going to the main phone circuits of the federal building where Landrieu has her office was part of observing how her office handles phone calls.

    I ADDRESSED IT!

    It is NOT relevant for dissecting what is nothing but a smear job on Blumenthal’s part. The two episodes are unrelated.

    The antics at Landrieu’s office are in the criminal justice system, and are of absolutely no relevance to critique of Max Blumenthal’s hit piece – which, as noted in my post, is falling apart faster than a Wal-Mart end table.

    Separate, unrelated issues.

  11. Editing? I watched all of the footage. Unless O’Keefe had Pixar on commision, it was pretty clear, and very damning.
    And Dog, don’t hold your breath waiting for Eric Holder’s “Justice” Dept. to investigate ACORN. They have an special realtionship with community organizers.

  12. Good ol’ Sid Vicious.
    He was the one who knew the truth about the Clinton/Lewinsky affair & still thought their strategy should be to smear Lewinsky as a crazed stalker who was sexually obsessed with Clinton.
    Sid got deposed by Starr’s grand jury and told reporters afterwards that all of Starr’s questions had been about Clinton and lewinsky’s tawdry sex acts. He knew that Starr was legally prevented from giving his take on the deposition . . . then congress released the grand Jury transcripts as part of the impeachment process and it turned out none of the deposition questions were about sex! Lol.
    There is no honesty in these people just an all-consuming drive to take people’s money from them and control their behavior.
    Sid Blumenthal got his start in Chicago politics. Sound familiar?

  13. Heya, Mad Dog? Still looking for that link to “current legal actions relating to the ACORN footage”? So many page hits you can’t make up your mind which link to post? You are not Mad Dog, but an All Wet Dog…

  14. Terry said:
    “Dog Gone, you keep talking… ,yet you never give any specifics.”

    Dog’s failure of a reply:
    “Terry, do your own homework…”

    Hahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

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